In the last post, we covered the ‘Ice’ part of Fire and Ice. Let’s look at the fire. The prairies are not everyone’s favourite place and Saskatchewan gets a lot of flak for being boring and flat. Well, I love Saskatchewan because it’s not flat, it’s not boring, and it’s the land of the living skies. In a word: gorgeous. Here are the remaining highlights from my Grand Cache to Southern Ontario road trip!
Dinosaur Provincial Park
Not to be confused with Drumheller, this UNESCO world heritage site is a natural preserve with abundant fossils and a chance to explore the Alberta Badlands. You can’t see the park from a distance, the landscape is flat. It is hidden from view until you drive around a corner and suddenly you can see everything. You can explore the fossils found here and explore the millions of years of history embedded in the rock. This was a great change after driving in the prairies all day. (We missed the mountains)
Great Sand Hills
The Great Sand Hills Ecological Reserve is not a park, nor is it easily accessible. We had to drive 18km down a freshly graveled road, drive over Texas Gates, and drive on a harder gravel road that suddenly turned onto a sand road! It was insane. We were there right at sunset, and it was beautiful. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.
Grasslands National Park
Grasslands National Park is the only park to represent the prairie region. It’s made up of two parts. The West Block, which is stunning desert-like grasslands, and the East Block, which features fossils and badlands. We visited the West Block and stayed overnight in the Dark Sky Preserve. I’m going to have to do a whole post just about this one place, because it was amazing. We hiked, geocached, camped, saw the stars, stared down some bison, watched the prairie dogs play, and more. It was great! We got a geocoin for our efforts too!
After Saskatchewan, we hooked back onto the TransCanada Hwy and just motored through Manitoba and Northern Ontario. We stopped at a few places here and there, but nothing overly special. Lake Superior takes the cake though. I absolutely understand why the Group of Seven loved it up there. Here are some pics of the still-icy waters of Lake superior
I think I need to move to a harbour town. Everything seems so right. We decided to drive through Manitoulin Island, one of the places I frequented as a child, and take the Chi-cheemaun back. That was a right call.
I was so happy to take yet another road trip across this beautiful country, and I’d be glad to do it again soon. Maybe next time will be to the Canadian Arctic or to the Maritimes. Who knows?